ITHACA, N.Y.—Stewart Park is among 13 locations in New York State to be recommended for inclusion in the National and State Registers for Historic Places, announced by Governor Kathy Hochul last week.

Stewart Park is one of two locations in the Southern Tier to receive the recommendation, joining Prattsburgh Commercial Historic District in Steuben County. A final determination on which locations will actually be added to the registers will be made in the coming months, but such a designation helps bolster the chances of an entity to receive funding for rehabilitation, construction, renovations, etc. Federal tax breaks and state grants also become more widely available if the historic place is listed on the registers.

The recommendation was made by the New York State Board for Historic Preservation.

“Friends of Stewart Park is thrilled to hear of Gov. Hochul’s nomination of Stewart Park and are grateful for her support along with that of the New York State Board for Historic Preservation,” wrote Janelle Alvstad-Mattson, communications director for Friends of Stewart Park.

The governor’s announcement celebrates the park’s cultural standing among Ithaca residents, and says the “park’s landscape reflects the evolution of Ithaca’s public recreational resources.”

“There are five visually distinct areas within four historic parcels, all of which were developed from the late 1800s through the 1950s: Renwick Park, Cascadilla Athletic Grounds, Fuertes Bird Sanctuary, Renwick Wildwood, and Newman Golf Course,” it reads. “Once owned or leased by various entities that impacted their development – the Renwick family; the Cascadilla School; the Cayuga Lake Division of the Ithaca Street Railway; the film studio Wharton, Inc. — by 1921 the City of Ithaca had acquired all of the separate parcels and opened Stewart Park for free public use in 1923. The park retains several buildings and structures that are unusual surviving examples of their types with a high degree of architectural integrity that help illustrate styles chosen for their uses, including a boathouse, pavilions, tennis courts, platforms, a carousel, foot bridges, play spaces, gateways, a tea house, and more.”

Matt Butler

Matt Butler is the Managing Editor at the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached by email at